I have been wondering… Why Kanon and Clannad or the like is labeled as a harem anime? Is it because it have a group of girls and only a minimal amount of male characters? It surprises me that in the game, you are only allowed to fall in love with one girl depending on what flags you have choose in the game…
For example, when I was playing Shiori’s arc in Kanon, the game does not give me another option to go on a date with another girl nor the choices I choose will allow that since the girlfriend is willngfully chosen depending on the flags you chose. Games like these are more on the melodrama/drama/one sided romance/slice of life opposed to a harem where you can date more than one girl. multiple dates and not having a definite girlfriend is key here. If the male lead willingfully chose his girlfriend, all bets are off and it isn’t considered a harem by definition.
The dictionary definition states for Harem:
Harem (noun) the wives (or concubines) of a polygamous man.
a group of female animals sharing a single mate.
This definition pretty much fits the classical definition of Harem (suggested reading on more about Harem from Baka-Raptor). Harem shows under the definition would be more like Shuffle!, Love Hina or Da Capo where the male lead dates more than one girl… When people consider Kanon a harem, just remind them the simultaneity requirement which is important in harem animes. ¶